The Winter Stars is a large-scale installation by Rachel Beetz, created during the darkest time of year in Ólafsfjörður, Iceland and sponsored by the Skammdegi Air Award.
For each evening of the darkest 30-day lunar cycle, Beetz recorded a 1-hour time-lapse photograph of the Icelandic sky and a 1-hour field recording. Throughout the lunar cycle, Beetz's photography captured auroras, clouds, snow, and the path of stars - "star trails" - across the night sky, and her field recordings documented the sounds of the nearby ocean. These 30 photographs and recordings became the scores and source material for Beetz's 30-hour installation, with each day of recordings translating into a unique hour of sound.
In addition to her night-time recordings, Beetz collaborated with local knitters to create the visual component of her installation. With the help of the Hornbrekka Retirement Home, the Ólafsfjörður Public Library, and others, Beetz created over 200 balls knitted from Icelandic yarn. These balls will create a glowing mobile suspended throughout the installation, lighting the space and mimicking the star trails of her photographs.
The Winter Stars installation takes place from March 7-9 from 12pm-10pm during which each of the 30 hours of sound will be played at UC San Diego's Experimental Theater. Visitors are encouraged to stay for awhile or come and go according to their own schedule, choosing which hours from the lunar cycle to experience.